Thursday, February 24, 2011

Destiny of Velious: Day 2

So. I got to try out some more stuff last night in the new Velious expansion. Before I go in to full detail I’ll sum up my experience last night with four words, “more of the same”. Discussion will follow!

I didn’t get to log in until a little later than usual as I had lots of real life fun to explore first. OK, so that’s not right, I had chores, nothing exciting. When I did log, the first order of the day was to complete one of my griffons training exercises. It seems my Griff had dry scales and feathers yesterday so I had to go smack about some big wyrms then rub the oil gained from those in to my Bird. This is sounding more and more like a bad ‘carry on’ flick. At one point I actually stopped and went off a la ‘J.D’ from Scrubs in to my own imagination. I couldn’t help but think that one of the reasons we play games like this is to enjoy a fantastic world and live through our avatars a ‘fantasy’ life. Well, I guess roleplayers think like that. Then I got to thinking about the quest I had just done and how ridiculous it was. I had just pummelled eight wyrms into bloody pulps, then using my bare hands I ripped open the huge stinky carcass (imagine the mess! I bet Volt looked like something from a slasher movie) and proceeded to rub oils from the carcass on to my small pet griffon an animal that is half eagle, half lion. It’s all a bit weird. I know it’s a world where fantastical things happen, but that’s just gross. Kinda like Lion Man, meets Vets in Practice, meets snuff movie. Weird choice for a quest in my opinion. At least my kinky little bird has healthy skin/feathers now.

I headed back to the starting part of The Great Divide, Fina’s Retreat and knocked out a few quests, which were the usual ‘go here, fetch that, click on this, move that’ type of quests. Not bad, but certainly nothing new. Whilst I was questing away and chatting to my Bro, my old raid leader Irja popped a shout out across our raid chat channel saying that we would be heading out to the x2 version of The Tower of Frozen Shadow (“ToFS”) in GD. I was excited. My first mini raid on day two of the expansion. We grouped up and headed to the zone in, but it seems not all of us had the mirrors to gain entry to the raid zone, so we had to split in to two groups to head in to the single instance of ToFS and get some quests completed to get the mirrors to give us access. The zone itself was, well, an EQ2 zone. There were a few quirky new things in there, like you had to use mirrors to get between the levels of the tower, do some crafting of potions to weaken mobs and so on. In fact the most innovative thing about the zone is that one of the named seem to drop legendary, appearance only items from their Ornate Chests.

The zone itself was OK, and that’s it, just OK. The mobs took a little more beating down that usual, but really not too much at all, hardly noticable. I had quite a few issues trying to control my hate. It didn’t help that I had swapped some of my hotbars around to have all like type skills together that are not in my normal casting order and had placed my detaunt next to my snap taunt tools (on my hate hotbar) as I hit those a couple of times and the mob snapped to me, but it really was a pain. The main tank was not too happy about it I don’t think and had been studying the parse to see what was happening and said I had climbed 13 hate positions in one fight. I didn’t quite know how I did that as I was using my detaunt whenever I saw it was up (probably not as much as I should have but recent AA changes mean the recast is less so I wasn’t used to it being available so much). But even so. I was watching the hate meter and even though I was using my detaunt, my anti-taunt buff and yes as stated a couple of times had hiccups clicking my snap by accident, I just kept watching the hate meter climb. When it reached around 95% if my detaunt was up I’d hit it, and I’d see the meter plummet to anywhere between 45% and 65% hate. But, as soon as I started to hit the mob again my hate rocketed, and I mean rocketed right back up there. I don’t really know what was going on with that. I need to check my equipment and buffs properly since the expansion in case I have a hate generating proc or something going off.

I know what it’s like when someone constantly rips from you as a tank and I understand why our tank wasn’t too chuffed. It’s not much fun when someone doesn’t control their aggro well, but the point is I was trying and trying to figure out what the hell was happening. I wasn’t doing anything unusual or out of line with what I usually did, but hate was definitely a huge issue for me last night. So much so, in the end the only way I could stop grabbing aggro was by feign deathing when I got too high on the meter. It wasn’t even if I was top of the parse, I was mostly behind the Necro and the Assassin. Yup I really was in the dark with what was happening and why. I must admit I was a little peeved when I apologised and stated I had been using my detaunt and was told by our tank that I couldn’t have been using them because I had climbed so many hate positions. If I didn’t know the guy I wouldn’t have been so miffed, but I have known him for a while and anyone who knows me will attest to this, I don’t lie. Like ever. The only time I will lie is to try and prevent someone’s feelings from getting hurt and even then I try not to do it if there is another way. Yeah, when I was a kid I used to lie and wax lyrical like a Politician, but since I have grown up, for the last 18 years my morality is something I pride myself on. I don’t like being called a liar. Not one little bit. But I swallowed my pride after a brief "I don't lie bud" and just kept my mouth shut from then on and tried to figure out what the hell was going on with my hate. I never did get to the bottom of it.

We got a few nameds down and even though there was ok’ish mechanics making the fights just a little more than run of the mill dps fights, but I couldn’t help but feeling ‘I have been here before’. Not that particular instance of course, but in general. I have been playing EQ2 since release and I guess it just may be that there are only so many expansions you can take where the same old same old happens. I didn’t feel stimulated. In fact if you asked me now if I wanted to go questing and doing some instances in Velious, or hooking up with my Bro to bash Sanctum of Scaleborn, I know I would choose the latter in a heartbeat. Yes, there are new locations, slight twists and new ideas on the puzzles you have to solve with this expansion, but at the end of the day it’s still just another instance, killing trash, solving problems and killing nameds. I’m starting to think the thing that interests me now in EQ2 has nothing to do with the game itself, but rather my family and friends who are there.

My wife hasn’t even bothered getting the expansion. In the down time of a few weeks that she had before expansion she has made the decision not to return and has stuck by that. I’m not so sure how long I will hold on before I follow. I will give Velious more time in the interest of giving those who beavered away at making the new content for us a fair try, but I have the feeling I may be logging on soon just to hang with my Bro and guildies.

So, Destiny of Velious: Day 2 = “More of the same”

Be well.


  1. Sorry to hear the expansion hasn't lived up to expectations just yet. Let's hope things will improve as you explore more and get to grips with the new combat system.

    Having said that, the more time you want to spend running content with me the better ;)

  2. Thanks mate. Yeah, I'm going to give it a fair chance though and try to run through the 300 odd quests and by that time I should have quite a bit more experience in the new znoes instances to make an informed decision.
    Even if I decide not to get too involved right now, I may go into 'progression mode' and just select a toon to accompany you through the rest of the tiers. Time will tell I guess.